A&O and Latham guide sale of luxury yacht builder

Allen & Overy (A&O) and Latham & Watkins have advised on the £50m sale of luxury yacht builder Oyster Marine to private equity house Balmoral Capital.

Private equity start-up Balmoral was launched in 2007 by two former Credit Suisse First Boston bankers. It was advised on the Oyster acquisition by Latham & Watkins partner Michael Immordino, who is based between London and Milan.

The A&O team, which acted for new client Richard Matthews who started up Oyster, was led by corporate partner Susan Howard with assistance from Giles Rowbotham.

Howard said that, apart from the obvious glamour in advising on a transaction involving the sale of an 80-plus foot yacht builder, getting such a deal done in current market conditions was good going.

The deal also included a debt element, which was organised by Lathams.

A&O received the current instruction from Matthews through one of his personal friends, who used to be a partner at A&O. Matthews will continue as chairman and chief executive of Oyster, but he is also expected to take some time off to sail.

Oyster has two super-yacht orders of 100ft and 125ft on its books for 2010 and 2011.

In Balmoral’s first acquisition last year, it bought Italian luxury motor yacht maker Canados.